Dear John,

I watched your speech with anticipation last night as the Republicans picked up enough seats to claim the majority in the House of Representatives.  You will be their next leader, and I am looking forward to watching you as you set the legislative agenda for our country. Prior to last night, I was unfamiliar with your story, how you have worked hard at so many different jobs and truly lived the American dream.  I thank you for sharing that so eloquently with the American people. In fact, many of your newest members share similar stories.

I am a wife and mother living in Oklahoma and I care deeply for our country.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have been born here and want a better future filled with endless opportunities for my children and grandchildren.  I long for them to dream, and dream big knowing that they live in America, the land of the free and home of the brave.  I want them to believe that with hard work, patience and perseverance, anything is possible.  My husband and I have worked hard to instill in them those same values and ideals upon which our country was founded.

However, our children have been learning a different lesson from the examples being set in Washington.  They hear volumes of denigrating, partisan rhetoric and observe career politicians who serve for personal gain. They see a heavy handed government that acts as if it holds the solution to every problem, a wasteful government that punishes success and spends our money in frivolous fashion.

My children know better.  I think you know better.  I hope and pray that you do.  You now have an extraordinary opportunity to lead our country back to those timeless principles upon which it was founded.  Godspeed and good luck Mr. Speaker, we’re rooting for you! Our children’s future depends on it.

Sincerely,  a Senator’s wife in Oklahoma

5 thoughts on “Dear John,

  1. Val

    Your post is very well written! I enjoyed reading it, thank you for writing it. You have expressed yourself quite eloquently, a skill many lack these days.

    I recognize that this is not an opinion post so much as a welcome letter, but with that said, the second to the last paragraph caught my eye and I thought I would write out my initial thoughts and responses. Apologies if this is absolutely the incorrect forum for that – we’ve all got to start somewhere, eh? 😉

    I completely agree that we are full to bursting with “volumes of denigrating, partisan rhetoric” and “career politicians [serving] for personal gain”. It is rare to hear a politician say something real rather than something that will cater to the audience of the hour.

    (A philosophical side note: Is this the nature of politics, though? Does the nature of the vote mean that the earnest politician must lose herself to politicking in order to maintain a position that allows her to effect change? How does one strike the correct balance?)

    Your description of our current government, however, as a “heavy handed government that acts as if it holds the solution to every problem, a wasteful government that punishes success and spends our money in a frivolous fashion” got me thinking.

    First I thought: “Isn’t that the nature of ‘government’? Is there one that has ever existed without the aforementioned complaints?” and then quickly my mind ran straight to the defense of the current administration, which is something I do regardless of party affiliation.

    Without the knowledge of what specifically you are referring to, i.e. how is the government punishing success and how are they spending our money frivolously?, it is hard for me to provide examples to refute your point, but at a basic level I do not believe that is currently what is happening.

    I do not believe, for example, that adding money to social services is by any means frivolous; the voting, tax-paying public is entitled to government services; that is precisely what we pay taxes for. While I theoretically agree that the private sector, as opposed to a federal government, is able to do a better job than *any* organization rife with bureaucracy, realistically I don’t see the private sector – or as many individuals as would be necessary to take the place of fed gov’t provided services – taking care of the public in a manner that would allow for our taxes to be lowered or redirected elsewhere. What are we left with, then? Back to big(ger) government.

    IMHO: the government would not have to provide the kind of services that may be deemed ‘frivolous’ by some if the individuals in our country made a strong effort to help their respective communities in place of the gov’t. It is always easier, more effective, and more efficient to effect change on a smaller scale, i.e. state v nation, local gov’t v state gov’t etc.

    My knee jerk reaction to the statements I highlighted earlier is to presume that you are talking about current social and economic stimulus programs.

    I realize that not knowing the specifics of what you are referring to as ‘punishing’ and ‘frivolous’ have limited my response and put me well within the realm of assumption. It’s not a safe place to be and is likely to render my comments ineffective and unproductive…yet still I choose to comment!

    Because it is possible that we might agree entirely on the discrete issues you are referring to, I would love to know more about the particular programs that you were thinking of when you wrote this letter and then evaluate and analyze them for myself.

    Great job on the blog – keep up the good work!

    Best regards,
    Valerie Farabee

  2. Whitney

    Bravo! No matter what the party, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head. We need fewer “parties” and more patriots–people who are willing to sacrifice self for the sake of country. Our forefathers sacrificed much–and we have lived high on the hog thanks to their efforts. If we are to pass on similar blessings to our children, it will require similar sacrifice.

    The very opposite of this sacrifice is what seems to pollute the national campaign trail–as you say, “solutions to every problem,” and a naive constituency that seems to think that government is SUPPOSED to be more powerful than the people. What a backwards way of thinking we have let ourselves succumb to!

    It has been astonishing to watch as our peers have voted politicians into office, and then allowed them to vote themselves to higher pay, bigger perks, and, as you say, personal gain. We should be as angry at them as we are at Wall Street. It’s a relief to finally see some frustration on the peoples’ part. Perhaps we have finally elected real “change”.

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